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HP Elite Folio review

The HP Elite Folio has a lot to offer, but is it worth the expensive price tag?

HP Elite Folio review
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Great for business pros on the go thanks to its light weight, internet connectivity options, and long battery life, but performance is lacking for more power-hungry applications such as playing games or editing visual media. It is rather expensive and maybe not the best bang for your buck, but the HP Elite Folio is a really lovely 2-in-1 laptop if you’re not restricted by budget.

Pros

  • +

    Sleek, stylish design

  • +

    Lightweight and portable

  • +

    Includes stylus

Cons

  • -

    Ludicrously expensive

  • -

    Lack of ports

  • -

    Performance underwhelming

  • -

Tech specs

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G
Memory: 8GB / 16GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Display: 13.5”
Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 540
Ports: 2 USB-C 5Gbps (DisplayPort 1.4, USB PD), 1 headphone/microphone combo, 1 nano SIM expansion slot
Dimensions: 11.75 x 9.03 x 0.63 inches
Weight: 2.93 lbs
Operating system: Windows 11 

Undeniably, the HP Elite Folio is one of the best-looking laptops we’ve ever seen, but it is just style over substance? This 2-in1 notebook PC transitions seamlessly between laptop, tablet, and media mode, so it’s a flexible device – quite literally! With just a flick, the screen pulls forward and can be used in a raised and also flat tablet mode. Paired with its touchscreen abilities and included stylus, this really is a versatile all-in-one ultra-mobile device.

The most striking aspect about the HP Elite Folio is the soft vegan leather cover that the laptop comes encased in. It’s a modern design that’s certainly aimed at the more business minded. Another great point is that you can connect to the internet wherever you are with the HP Elite Folio thanks to its optional 5G and Wi-Fi capabilities, so you can really be productive on the go. It’s surprisingly lightweight, so you can move while you work with ease.

Of course, all this comes with a rather big hit to your bank account. With the standard retail price starting at MSRP $1,969 / RRP £1,198.80, it feels like the specs don’t justify such a high price tag.

Also, another concern is that the Snapdragon processor is one more commonly associated with smartphones, so there have been questions about its performance potential. Is the HP Elite Folio worthy of being named one of the best laptops? Read on to find out.

HP Elite Folio review: Design

  • Soft vegan leather cover
  • Compact and lightweight

Cover_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

With the HP Elite Folio’s sleek, stylish looks and compact frame you’ll look like a business pro and be the envy of the office. Looking very elegant, the laptop itself is enclosed in a soft vegan leather cover that offers it some protection as well as style points.

You’ll also be incredibly impressed with just how thin the HP Elite Folio is. Weighing in at only 2.93 lbs, the HP Elite Folio is super compact and ready to pick up and go wherever you want. The fact that the HP Elite Folio is so thin is great, but is also the reason for one of its biggest flaws – the lack of ports. You only get 2 USB-C, 1 headphone/microphone combo, and 1 nano SIM expansion slot.

Laptop ports_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

The HP Premium Collaboration Keyboard doesn’t flex and feels very sturdy, making it wonderful to type on for long periods of time, especially as the keys are relatively silent and won’t get on your nerves (or those around you). Some may not like the short travel, but to us it felt great. As well as being spill-resistant, the keyboard is backlit which means it’s easy and comfortable working in low-light environments.

Also nice to use is the HP Elite Folio Clickpad – its multi-touch gesture support is lovely and smooth, and responds very well. The buttons also have nice, firm feedback, so you won’t be clicking them accidentally.

Keyboard close up_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

HP Elite Folio review: Performance

  • Performance lacks oomph
  • Stylus included

With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 5G processor, the HP Elite Folio is just fine for working on text documents or spreadsheets, but it struggles when it comes to more power-hungry tasks such as editing photos and videos, or playing video games. So, if you’re a gamer look elsewhere as this set-up isn’t powerful enough and for around a similar price you can get the Razer Blade 14 instead.

One of the best features of the HP Folio Elite is that it comes with the HP Elite Slim Active Pen. The stylus handily charges in the built-in storage space above the keyboard, so you’ll never have to worry about losing it. As the name suggests, the HP Elite Slim Active Pen is quite thin, so it can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but it’s easy enough to hold and pretty fun to use. It does the job – great for scribbling notes or annotating a diagram.

Laptop in tablet mode 2_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

HP Elite Folio review: Display and Audio

  • Amazing speakers
  • Camera is okay
  • Touchscreen is a plus

With razor-thin bevels, the 13.5” screen is a perfectly reasonable size that gets the job done and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. The screen is specially designed so that it’s a bit taller so you can see more of a document and won’t have to scroll so often (which you can do with a flick of a finger thanks to the touchscreen capabilities).

Camera red light_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

There is no fingerprint reader available, but the build-in 720p HD privacy camera works very well with face recognition, logging you in almost instantly (successfully tested with hair up, hair down, wearing headphones, and even with a hat on). For the security conscious, there are lights either side of the camera that go red when in use, and there is also a physical little shutter you can slide to cover the camera completely. With that being said, the camera quality isn’t the best, but it’s not the worst either.

Thanks to the Bang & Olufsen quad stereo speakers, the HP Elite Folio does very well in the sound department. That combined with the dual array microphones make video calls a pleasant experience.

HP Elite Folio review: Battery life

  • Impressively long
  • Quick-charge feature

Great for agile working, the HP Elite Folio boasts an epic battery life of 25 hours and 45 minutes (of course, this can vary slightly depending on which applications you use). So, whether you’re commuting to the office, in and out of meetings all day, or hunkered down in your favorite coffee shop, the HP Elite Folio will just keep going and going. On a personal note, we found it fantastic for binging Netflix without having to worry about suddenly being plunged into darkness.

And if you do find yourself low on battery power, the HP Elite Folio has a wonderful fast charging feature that can charge the battery up to 90% in 90 minutes – that’s seriously impressive!

Laptop in tablet mode_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

HP Elite Folio review: Price

Yes, the HP Elite Folio is on the pricier side, and while it’s got the high-quality looks to match, it doesn’t feel really like you get the most for bang for your buck. You can pick up the HP Elite Folio in either an 8 GB RAM or 16 GB SSD configuration (prices start from MSRP $1,969 / RRP £1,198.80). Or, for a bit extra cash, you can customize your own HP Elite Folio with your preferred specs from the options listed. All include a 1-year standard warranty.

Performance-wise, for this price you could get your hands on a laptop with better specs, such as the Apple M1 MacBook Pro 13-inch.

Due to its premium price we wouldn’t consider it the best laptop for college, or those who are budget conscious, but if you’re a hard-working professional with cash to splash, this could be the laptop for you.

Product shot_HP Elite Folio

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the HP Elite Folio?

With its massive battery life you can edit documents, surf the web, chat on Zoom calls, and binge Netflix for hours and hours at a time – perfect for those who have to commute. The HP Elite Folio is a really, really nice-looking laptop, there’s no arguing about that, and we certainly enjoyed using it, but we’re having trouble getting over its painful price.

As it is on the more expensive side, the HP Elite Folio is probably not the best buy for a student or the budget conscious. However, if you’re a hard-working professional who finds themselves constantly on the go, consider treating yourself to the HP Elite Folio – it’s lightweight and portable, you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery, and damn does it look smart.